What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

A home purchase is the most significant transaction most people could ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Most of the parties participating are very familiar. The most recognizable entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the financial capital required to finance the deal. And the title company makes sure that all requirements of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, what party is responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from A. M. Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

After the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser uses information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • In the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath to the comparable property.

In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in West Columbia and Lexington, A. M. Appraisals can't be beat. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Depending on the specific situations of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down.Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from A. M. Appraisals will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.

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